News Briefs

April 28, 2017

Forecasting data collected during the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's (IARPA’s) Aggregative Contingent Estimation (ACE) program by team Good Judgment is now available for use by the public and the research community via

April 27. 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
To increase security in its facilities, the U.S. Navy began transitioning sailors to a biometrics identification verification system in 2015. All commercial suppliers must obtain the new credentials by July 15.

All vendors, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service providers currently qualified for or using the Navy Commercial Access Control System (NCACS) are being transitioned to the Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS). NCACS cardholders must change to the biometric credentialing system by July 15 at the local base Visitor Control Center to access naval bases. The transition applies to installations in the continental United States, Hawaii and Guam.

April 17, 2017
The Defense Advanced Research Projects is seeking information on advanced war gaming and modeling and simulation concepts.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office is requesting information on scalable, interactive gaming or war gaming approaches simultaneously spanning a large number of space and time scales with the goal of assessing a wide range of possible competitive outcomes and strategies using a range of human decision-making strategies.

April 18, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) will hold a two-day virtual proposers event May 3 and 4 to provide detailed information to vendors about an array of plans and projects for the year.

April 11, 2017
The Remote Video Surveillance System upgrade has achieved full operational capability.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has determined the Remote Video Surveillance System (RVSS) upgrade has achieved a full operating capability. The RVSS capability is currently operational in Nogales, Douglas, Naco, Yuma and Ajo, Arizona, with relocatable deployments planned this year in McAllen and Laredo, Texas.

Located on elevated towers and structures, the RVSS advanced electro-optical and infrared sensors provide persistent ground surveillance to border patrol agents. It uses a video management system with real-time analytics to effectively detect, track, identify, classify and respond to missions along U.S. borders.

April 10, 2017

The recent activation of the Unified Video Dissemination System (UVDS) at the Defense Information System’s Agency’s (DISA's) data center in Weisbaden, Germany, has improved the reliable, secure transport of full-motion video (FMV) collected for the purpose of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in support of missions led by all combatant commands, the agency has announced.

April 7, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The Northrop Grumman Foundation awarded $50,000 in scholarships to high school teams that excelled at the CyberPatriot IX National Finals Competition this week in Baltimore.

The CyberPatriot IX finals featured 28 high school and middle school teams that defended virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team. The competition drew a record 4,404 teams, a 30 percent increase over last year, according to a press release. 

April 6, 2017
By Ali Cybulski
The number of women in cybersecurity has remained stagnant over the past few years, a new report says.

Women comprise just 11 percent of the information security work force, and despite being more educated than men in the field, hold fewer senior-level positions and earn less money, new research shows. Female representation in the industry also has remained unchanged since 2013, according to the Center for Cyber Safety and Education’s Women in Cybersecurity report.

April 5, 2017
Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins, USA, commander of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, presents a flag to Henry Muller Jr., who has retired as director of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center after a nearly 33-year federal career. Donald Reago Jr. is serving as acting director.

Donald Reago Jr., director of the U.S. Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, has stepped in as the center’s acting director following the retirement of Henry Muller Jr. after a nearly 33-year federal career.

Army officials began April 1 a search to permanently fill the position, a process that should take no more than 120 days, officials stated in a press release.

March 29, 2017
By SIGNAL Staff
An assured compliance assessment solution document produced by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) guides users on how to scan computer networks for vulnerabilities. DISA launched a new cyber assessment program, the Command Cyber Operational Readiness Inspection (CCORI), that provides a greater understanding of the operational risks and cybersecurity postures.

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, launched a new cyber assessment program, known as a Command Cyber Operational Readiness Inspection (CCORI), that provides the Defense Department and federal agencies a greater understanding of the operational risk their missions face because of their cybersecurity posture, according to an agency statement.

March 27, 2017

The NATO Communications and Information Agency will preview details of 40 upcoming business opportunities at its annual industry conference NITEC17 to be held April 24-26 in Ottawa, Canada. Agency officials intend to put 40 contracts out to tender in the next 18 to 24 months as part of a €3 billion ($3.26 billion) technology refresh.

Various program officials will discuss tangible opportunities coming to market, including international competitive bids in the following areas:

March 16, 2017
DARPA’s Gremlins program seeks to develop innovative technologies and systems that would enable aircraft to launch volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems and safely and reliably retrieve them in midair.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently completed phase 1 of its Gremlins program, which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs)—or “gremlins”—that could be launched and later retrieved in midair. Taking the program to its next stage, the agency has awarded phase 2 contracts to two teams, one led by Dynetics Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, and the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., San Diego.

March 3, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
The Ghost Minitaur can now navigate grass, rocks, sand, vertical terrain, snow and ice fields, urban objects and debris.

The four-legged Chihuahua-size robot known as the Ghost Minitaur has been updated with advanced reactive behaviors for navigating grass, rocks, sand, vertical terrain, snow and ice fields, urban objects and debris. The platform boasts users including the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University and Google.

March 7, 2017
Willingness to retaliate with force jumps when an adversary shoots down a manned aircraft versus a drone.

The results of a survey released on Tuesday provide evidence that the choice of using drones versus manned aircraft has significant effects on the decision to start or escalate conflicts. The survey, conducted by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Technology and National Security Program and the Future of Warfare Initiative, evaluated attitudes of the general public and experts about the use of drones in military settings. 

Key findings among those CNAS surveyed:

March 2, 2017

John Zangardi stepped in March 1 as the U.S. Defense Department’s acting chief information officer (CIO) following Terry Halvorsen’s retirement. Zangardi has served as the department’s principal deputy CIO since last October. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has yet to name a permanent replacement for Halvorsen.

February 16, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded 33 scientists $16 million through its 2017 Young Investigator Program (YIP). The winners’ research holds strong promise across several naval-relevant science and technology areas. Typical grants are $510,000 over a three-year period.

The candidates were selected from more than 360 highly qualified applicants. Awardees come from 25 academic institutions nationwide, in disciplines ranging from robotics and lasers to nanomaterials. They will use the funds to support laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned investigational studies.

February 14, 2017
By Tony Ferguson
Florida-based students participated in the third annual CyberThon challenge in January.

The third annual CyberThon event, held at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, provided hands-on cybersecurity defense training to students of many ages who worked to defeat simulated cybersecurity threats to an online banking network.

More than 140 Florida-based students from dozens of schools across the northwest participated in CyberThon 2017, a challenge event hosted by AFCEA’s Pensacola “Blue Angels” Chapter. After two days of spirited competition, teams from the University of West Florida (UWF) and J.M. Tate High School took first place in the college and high school divisions, respectively.

February 13, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has announced an opportunity for manufacturers of Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment used in critical infrastructure to test their products against GPS jamming and spoofing.

The GPS Testing for Critical Infrastructure (GET-CI) event, to be held April 17-21, at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana, is the first in a series of test opportunities.

February 13, 2017
By Ali Cybulski

Cybersecurity does not keep most Americans awake at night, even though many expect major cyber attacks to be a way of life in the near future and place little trust in modern institutions to protect their personal data, reports the Pew Research Center. The center’s national survey of more than 1,000 adults last spring showed that even as confidence in data security declined, Americans failed to follow digital security best practices.

January 24, 2017

U.S. intelligence community researchers need technology capable of retrieving information from a multilingual repository and converting the data into English.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) released a broad agency announcement late last week for the Machine Translation for English Retrieval of Information in Any Language (MATERIAL) program. The program aims to develop an English-in, English-out capability in which questions asked in English are answered the same way. Proposals are due March 20.

Pages